2016 has been an incredible year.
To help usher in the new year, the PAAM staff is sharing some highlights and reflections from the past year, as well as some hopes and dreams for the future.
Christine McCarthy, Executive Director
So many extraordinary things happen in a year at PAAM. To pinpoint one moment is nearly impossible, as something exceptional happens here each day.
From mounting exhibitions, to interacting with visitors, artists and students to celebrating the Gala in our historic Town Hall, the year in review has consistently amazed me. I continue to be so proud of what happens at PAAM and our future looks bright. A particularly exciting moment was the arrival of the Edward and Josephine Hopper drawings to PAAM – an unprecedented gift which now increases our inventory of 2 Hopper Drawings to 167! This photograph of Jim Bakker, President of PAAM; Anton Schiffenhaus, one of the donors of the Hopper drawings; and myself marks a pivotal and historic moment for the permanent collection and now repositions us to advance our scholarship and continue to make our mark in American art history.
Annie Longley, Communications Manager
On November 9th, our brains fuzzy from obsessive news-watching, we were given an unexpected gift: there was a show to hang. There may be little else that connects you more to a piece of artwork than staring at it and deciding where it would look “right” in a massive gallery, little else that is more meditative than hammering nail after nail into a blank wall, little else more satisfying than straightening a crooked painting. It was a timely reminder that there’s always work to be done, and doing good work with good people (while listening to Beyonce) is a day well-spent.
Lesley Marchessault, Development Coordinator
My favorite part of 2016 was the Staff Picks exhibition. I love to curate, and for me it was a real treat to put together these pieces in a cohesive exhibition. It was also such a joy to speak to each of my coworkers about their favorite pieces and learn a little bit more about them in the process. It was like opening a window into another part of their personality. We really are a PAAMily here and it was a great opportunity to appreciate my family even more! Plus the exhibition looked great, so that was a major perk!
Kiah Coble, Museum School Program Administrator
On a blustery day in March, I joined the PAAM staff. I can’t tell you all how many favorite and fond memories I have made since that day, and how many mistakes I’ve made while learning. This summer, our small army of interns witnessed my learning curve as I navigated uncharted territory. Their trust lifted my potential each and every day, and their hard work made the summer workshop program possible. So here’s to Adrian Hackney, Anna Lally, Caroline Duffy, Emma Marguiles, Julia Schirrmeister, Rio Morales, Liam Russo, Sarah Lievain, and Troy Sherman for putting up with me. A BIG shout out to you, my lovely ducklings, and to everyone at PAAM, for supporting me and each other in immeasurable ways.
Lennie Alickman, PAAM Treasurer
I would say that, although all of it was great, one of my favorite memories was dancing at the after party at the gala. It was non-stop fun and I danced with people I hadn’t met before. It was an inter-generational party so it was fun to mix with future PAAM supporters!
Jim Bakker, PAAM President
The highlight for me was the acquisition of the of the Edward Hopper drawings and papers for our collection. It was most fulfilling to be able to help facilitate this major and most generous gift thanks the generosity of Anton and Larry Schiffenhaus. From the initial contact to working with Chris through every step to bring it to fruition, this gift signifies the great confidence our members now have in our institution moving forward in the 21st century.
Grace Ryder-O’Malley, Community Relations and Operations
A highlight in 2016 for me was notifying the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant recipients. It is a thrilling experience. They often are caught off guard and sometimes don’t even believe it’s us calling! They’ve hung up on us, called us names, thought they were being pranked, and cried. Many have said it’s made immeasurable differences on their lives.
It is very rare as a nonprofit that we are able to give money away and the only time we give out a cash award. Moreover, its extraordinary to be able to make unrestricted awards to deserving artists. It makes any tedious pile of paperwork worthwhile. We first awarded grants in 2010 and I remember each conversation we’ve had with every recipient. I look forward to that day and it is probably only trumped by the day when they come for their exhibitions and we get to meet in person. This year’s recipients are Frank Gregory, Masako Kamiya, Marjorie Kaye, Gail Spaien, and Clay Wagstaff, hailing from as far away as Utah.
Seth Abrahamson, Registrar
This year has had so many highlights for me at PAAM, that I can’t pin down just one. I joined the staff here as the new Registrar in January, and have been fortunate enough to have learned countless things, and had the opportunity to work with many wonderful people. I am looking forward to that trend continuing into and beyond 2017.